ESPN is making changes to their daytime lineup as the Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reports High Noon with Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre is being canceled.
According to Ourand, the final episode of High Noon will air sometime at the end of March, falling short of its two-year anniversary. The show originally launched with its full name High Noon (9am Pacific) as a one-hour daily show in Jun. 2018. But just three months later, ESPN canceled SportsNation and replaced it with High Noon. Since Sept. 2018, High Noon has aired as a half-hour show at 4pm ET on ESPN.
Replacing High Noon on ESPN weekdays from 4 – 4:30pm ET will be Jalen & Jacoby which moves over from ESPN2. A plan for filling the 2pm void left by Jalen & Jacoby on ESPN 2 was not announced.
Last November, The Washington Post reported ESPN was running focus groups on High Noon to help decide its future. It would seem those tests didn’t signal enough interest to keep the show going. “Co-hosts Pablo Torre and Bomani Jones are extremely talented, and they helmed what we believed was a smart and nuanced show. Unfortunately, not enough people agreed with us,” ESPN said in an emailed statement to Ourand.
According to Ourand, ESPN cited poor viewership as the reason the show will be canceled. So for High Noon was averaging 330,000 viewers in the first quarter, which is lower than other ESPN debate shows, but not by much. Dan Le Batard’s Highly Questionable has averaged 404,000 viewers, while Mike Greenberg’s Get Up! Is averaging 380,000.
The High Noon hosts will continue appearing on ESPN for now, with Jones also recording his twice weekly podcast, but questions remain about their futures with the network. The contracts for both Jones and Torre are set to expire next month.
“We look forward to discussing with them how to best utilize their talents across a variety of ESPN platforms,” ESPN added in their emailed statement to Ourand, which at least publicly signals an interest in continuing their relationship with Jones and Torre.
The idea for High Noon with Jones and Torre was created under former ESPN president John Skipper, who now runs DAZN. With Bomani having two master’s degrees in economics and Torre being a Harvard graduate, High Noon looked to set itself apart with intellect. But as Jones and Torre near free agency and High Noon gets cut from ESPN, Skipper’s DAZN is reportedly interested in producing more debate style shows, having been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Skip Bayless if he leaves FS1.
Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.